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Discussion:

Will Bristol Airport ever be convenient without a rail link?

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Message 21 - posted by U6267783, Sep 22, 2007

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Message 22 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Sep 22, 2007

Exeter has done very well in recent years and has a decent route network. The weakness is that it relys almost exclusively on one airline for all its scheduled services.

One million passengers use Exeter Airport each year at the present time.

However, Exeter is a much smaller operation than Bristol (Lulsgate) whose annual passenger figures are about to break the six million barrier, with around one hundred direct destinations (most non-stop).

In fact, Bristol carries as many passengers as Exeter, Cardiff, Southampton and Bournemouth airports combined, and is the fifth largest airport in the UK outside London in terms of passenger numbers.

If the airport was at Filton who knows how big the operation would be now?

Bristol's main scheduled carrier is easyJet that currently bases ten Airbuses at Lulsgate. It is the airline's largest base outside London.

However, Bristol also has a good number of other airlines offering scheduled routes as well (plus the charter flights that account for roughly 20% of the airport's passenger numbers) and Ryanair is about to set up a base alongside easyJet.

This will push up passenger numbers even further.

The airport's infrastructure is in urgent need of expansion but its 80 million expansion plan will be fought all the way by the opponents.

I remember the Brabazon, but I was not much more than a toddler at the time, so most of my information about it has come via books etc in later years, including the obliteration of the village of Charlton to make room for the runway to be extended.


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Message 23 - posted by dearboy, Sep 24, 2007

Yes , you right about the Brab runway!! On the Internet you can, if you feel son inclined view the first take off of the monster, Pathe News have a site. The jargon used bythe announcer is worth hearing! From memory the real noise came from the Test Beds in Gypsy Patch Lane. Did anyone notice the enormous A380 visiting Filton recently?
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Message 24 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Sep 24, 2007

In summer 2006 an A380 did some circuits overhead various parts of the city of Bristol before doing some low flypasts at Filton airfield.

In the spring of this year (April, I think) a 380 landed at Filton and spent five days there doing various tests that involved a number of take-offs and landings. I saw the beast from the A 38 road that passes the airfield (some symmetry there! <cool>) and it is a very big aeroplane.

I believe a 380 has been back to Filton since then for more tests.

I will look up the Pathe clip of the Brab - many thanks.

The concept was outdated commercially from the start as it was technically (although of course it is easy to say that with hindsight), but at least much of the expertise put into the Brab was not lost as it helped make the Britannia the aircraft it was (arguably the finest turbo-prop airliner ever built) although it too could not compete with the American-built Boeing 707 and DC 8 jetliners that came onto the transtlantic routes at the end of the 1950s.

Each time I pass the Filton site I cannot help but think what a superb commercial airport it would have made, but that is leaving aside environmental arguments of course.
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Message 25 - posted by DaveHarries, Sep 24, 2007

The NS (Dutch Railways) managed a rail link to Schiphol. The track runs underground for about a mile before it gets to the airport.

Mind you, Schiphol is built on an old lake. But the climate change campaigners would have a field day there: the place has around 200 gates.

Dave
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Message 26 - posted by DaveHarries, Sep 25, 2007

I noticed this morning that two nerw stops have been added to the Bristol Airport link that serves the Downs, Service 330.

The service now seems to run a circular on the Sea Mills side of the Downs so new stops have been added thus:

- Parry's Lane, opposite Rylestone Grove
- Stoke Hill, opposite Church Avenue

FirstGroup trying to cater for the students, I guess, as there are student halls are near both stops.

Dave
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Message 27 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Sep 25, 2007

Dave

There are a number of mainland European countries that have rail links beneath the airport.

I've used those at Brussels, Copenhagen, Geneva, Zurich and Amsterdam (mentioned by you) airports, and there are others.

However, these are, in the main, major airports whereas Bristol, despite its success, is still a regional airport and carries far fewer passengers than most of those with underground rail connections.

There is a scheme afoot to give Edinburgh airport an underground main line rail connection. The cost is prohibitive but, like its counterpart in Wales, the Scottish Parliament seems able to find cash for all sorts of things that we in England (especially in the regions) can only look at with barely-concealed envy.

I still think the Bristol Flyer (with through rail booking facilities to the airport) is a reasonable alternative to a railway line out to the airport.

I have used it a few times this summer and it is often well-patronised from the railway station to the airport and vice versa. However, the onward links to both bus station and Clifton never seem well-used, with the result that these 50-seater coaches invariably travel around the central areas with only a handful of passengers on board.

Furthermore, the routes to/from the bus station and Clifton often put the coaches behind schedule because of traffic conditions with the result that the 'every fifteen minutes' frequency from Temple Meads cannot be relied on.

I would like to see more Flyers starting and fiishing at Temple Meads.



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- railways

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